Increased postprandial glycaemia, insulinemia, and lipidemia after 10 weeks' sucrose-rich diet compared to an artificially sweetened diet: a randomised controlled trial

Food Nutr Res. 2011;55. doi: 10.3402/fnr.v55i0.5961. Epub 2011 Jul 20.


Background: The importance of exchanging sucrose for artificial sweeteners on risk factors for developing diabetes and cardiovascular diseases is not yet clear.

Objective: To investigate the effects of a diet high in sucrose versus a diet high in artificial sweeteners on fasting and postprandial metabolic profiles after 10 weeks.

Design: Healthy overweight subjects were randomised to consume drinks and foods sweetened with either sucrose (∼2 g/kg body weight) (n = 12) or artificial sweeteners (n = 11) as supplements to their usual diet. Supplements were similar on the two diets and consisted of beverages (∼80 weight%) and solid foods (yoghurts, marmalade, ice cream, stewed fruits). The rest of the diet was free of choice and ad libitum. Before (week 0) and after the intervention (week 10) fasting blood samples were drawn and in week 10, postprandial blood was sampled during an 8-hour meal test (breakfast and lunch).

Results: After 10 weeks postprandial glucose, insulin, lactate, triglyceride, leptin, glucagon, and GLP-1 were all significantly higher in the sucrose compared with the sweetener group. After adjusting for differences in body weight changes and fasting values (week 10), postprandial glucose, lactate, insulin, GIP, and GLP-1 were significantly higher and after further adjusting for differences in energy and sucrose intake, postprandial lactate, insulin, GIP, and GLP-1 levels were still significantly higher on the sucrose-rich diet.

Conclusion: A sucrose-rich diet consumed for 10 weeks resulted in significant elevations of postprandial glycaemia, insulinemia, and lipidemia compared to a diet rich in artificial sweeteners in slightly overweight healthy subjects.

Keywords: GIP; GLP-1; NEFA; glucose; insulin; leptin; meal test; overweight; triacylglycerol.